ZFX appoints new General Manager


Louisville, KY, January 5, 2015:  ZFX Flying Effects (www.zfxflying.com), the most Zealous flying company in the galaxy, announced today that Jason Schumacher has returned to the company to take on the general manager position.  Jason will oversee management at ZFX in an effort to continue the company’s stated goal of worldwide domination of the performer flying industry, with galactic domination to follow.

“We’re getting the band back together!” says company founder Robert Dean.  “Bringing Schu on completes our initiative to fill our key management positions with former Flying Directors who know the flying industry like the back of their o-gauges.  Having a team at the helm with years of road experience directly benefits our clients and Flying Directors working together in the field.”

“In addition to his experience in flying effects and management, Schu brings a Zen-like demeanor that will greatly benefit our clients and employees.  We’re pretty sure we’re going to put ‘Chairman of the Horde’ on his business cards.”

Jason brings extensive experience in performer flying and the entertainment industry to ZFX.  In addition to incorporating flying into over 300 productions as a Flying Director, he has also worked as a film producer and stunt coordinator. He has brought three films to market with Warehouse District Productions, where he honed skills in managing both creative and technical processes in dynamically changing environments.

After time spent in New York City and Nashville, Jason is excited to return to Louisville and ZFX.  “This is a unique and remarkable company that strives every day to offer its clients not only safe flying effects, but a creative partner in developing the best possible performances,” says Jason.  “Returning to ZFX gives me the opportunity to help further those goals.  This company is my second favorite dysfunctional family, and it’s nice to come home.  Plus, I already own a half-a-dozen kilts that are nicely worn in.”

ZFX Prepares for Another Big Year at LDI

ZFX is already preparing for LDI Expo 2013 in Las Vegas, NV.  LDI is the largest annual gathering of entertainment technology professionals in the USA with visitors worldwide.  Stand by for further information as we get closer.

Mark your calendars and make your reservations early for LDI Expo, November 22-24 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  We’ll be at Booth 425 (but in case you forget, just look for the kilts).

Visit LDI’ site to learn more about the conference:  www.ldishow.com


UNIQLO Invites ZFX to Develop Third Installment



ZFX is excited to showcase their best installation to date. The centerpiece of Uniqlo Hong Kong flagship store is a multi-story “glass box” containing 12 flying mannequins. ZFX is no stranger to UNIQLO’s creative approach in the design of theatrical retail. After supplying the Shanghai and New York flagship stores with this attention-getting display, we were ready for the next challenge of bringing mannequins to life in Hong Kong.

UNIQLO requested 12 mannequins flying and spinning through multiple levels of the store in a very tight space. As engineers, it took a lot of our ingenuity to make it fit. But as artist’s, we were very thrilled with the results.

Thank you to all involved at both UNIQLO and ZFX! Congratulations are in order on another successful collaboration. We hope to continue to shake up the retail world together again in the near future.

Did we mention that Shanghai’s flying and overhead carousel mannequins have been operating for more than 12 hours a day, every day for over three years? That’s almost as much accumulated air time as Cathy Rigby…

Contact Emily, our Producing Manager to learn how you can shake things up in your store:  eballou@zfxflying.com

ZFX Sends Big Congratulations to Arab Idol Winner

Arab Idol 2013 - Mohammed Assaf

Mohammed Assaf, the 23 year old former wedding singer from the Gaza Strip, was the standout vocalist of this year’s season of Arab Idol.  His hometown took to the streets in celebration of his big win, and local officials have called him an inspiration to the youth and an ambassador of goodwill.

ZFX was proud to be a part of another successful season of Arab Idol, boasting a Starscore of 31 Million views worldwide during its final weeks.  Flying Director Dan Kondas had a great time flying Idol contestants Ahmad Jamal, Salma Rachid, and Parwas Hussain.  All of us at ZFX want to congratulate them on their personal success on the show as well as wish them good luck moving forward in each of their musical careers.  Also, thank you to everyone involved with Arab Idol including the judges for partnering with us on an historic series.

Salma Rachid sings above the clouds in her performance below…

ZFX and Retailer Uniqlo Team up Once Again

A team of ZFX technicians is getting ready to travel to Hong Kong in the coming weeks for the installation of one of our most exciting jobs yet!  World wide retailer Uniqlo is opening a store and has once again asked ZFX to provide an innovative and imaginative “flying” display for it’s newest store.  ZFX staff will be on site to oversee the installation of our specially designed automated system that will move mannequins displaying Uniqlo clothing throughout the store.

Openings availbale in ZFX Master Classes

There are still spots available in the ZFX masterclass sessions during SETC this March.  Two sessions will be offered on March 6th, one at 9am. and one beginning at 4pm.  If you are interested in expanding your understanding of aerial arts and gaining a little first hand experience this is an invaluable opportunity.  Because the conference is being held in Louisville which also happens to be world headquarters for ZFX you will have access to their state of the art facility and equipment.  Classes will be taught by ETCP certified Flying Directors from ZFX with years of experience in all aspects of performer flying.  Whether you are interested in the technical or performance side of things there is something here for everyone.  Register now on the SETC website: http://www.setc.org/register  


ZFX & Apex Stages

At the recent LDI show in Las Vegas ZFX teamed up with Apex Stages to showcase one of their newest offerings.  Apex set up one of their portable stages on the show floor and presented live performances throughout the day.  ZFX was on hand with one of our eZHoists to provide an added dimension for the aerialist lyra performance.  One of the most interesting aspects of this job was the rigging of the ZFX hoist.  Our very own Capn’ Stu was able to rig the hoist to the underside of the stage rather than mounting it on the show floor.  This not only preserved the portable aspect of the stage itself, but also allowed for the added movement of a hoist without detracting from the performance with a lot of machinery in view of the audience.  The final effect was a real crowd pleaser for LDI visitors.

ZFX Master Class

Just in case you didn’t know already the SETC conference will be held in Louisville next March!!  ZFX is offering a pre-conference master class open to all interested parties.  You must be over the age of eighteen to participate, but that is really the only requirement.  Whether you are a seasoned performer, or someone on the technical side of things, this will be a great learning experience for all involved.  Please check out the link below to the SETC News for more information.  Registration opens Oct. 15th and we expect sessions to fill up fast, so make sure and book your spot early.



ZFX and the West Australian Ballet

Have teamed up for the World Premiere of Pinocchio.  Our flying director Jason Schumacher has been in Perth Australia for the last several weeks helping them incorporate some flying into the show.  Working with both performers and technicians, he has been able to really bring the show to another level.  This isn’t the first ballet production Jason (or Schu as we like to call him) has been involved in.  His technical skill and artistic insight when it comes to choreography make him an invaluable part of the production team.  Opening night is this weekend, we can’t wait to hear the rave reviews!

Weekend Workshop

ZFX was glad to be able to host some of our neighbors this weekend  for a one day workshop in the dojo.  A small group of students from Berea college here in Kentucky joined us Saturday to learn about the basics of theatrical flying.  Flying Directors Stu Cox and Cody Beseda were on hand to make sure a safe and educational experience was had by all.  They had a great time introducing a whole new generation of theatrical professionals to the wonders of flight.  Students, who were all part of Berea’s Theatre Lab program spent the day learning the basics and getting some hands on time with the equipment.